Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Howard rallies allies on the hunt for good news stories on industrial relations.



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

24/06 29 March 2006

HOWARD RALLIES ALLIES ON THE HUNT FOR GOOD NEWS STORIES ON INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

John Howard has been sprung calling his employer allies to arms to counter the negative impact his extreme industrial relations changes are having after just two days.

Sydney radio station 2GB reported in its midday news bulletin today:

..the government is again worried it is losing the PR battle to unions over the workplace changes and so has today been demanding major employer organisations give it good news stories about the laws.

The Prime Minister refused to confirm or deny this when I asked the following question in Question Time:

Is it the case, as reported today, that your office has contacted major employer groups demanding that they provide ‘good news stories’ about the Government’s extreme industrial relations changes?

Is it also the case that the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is one of those groups?

Isn’t it the case that had ACCI’s submissions on the Minimum Wage been accepted over the past ten years, the Minimum Wage would currently be $95 a week or $4,940 a year less? [Record attached]

Is $4,940 a year less for the nearly 2 million Australian employees on the Minimum Wage the kind of good news story Prime Minister had in mind?

Yesterday in Question Time, the Prime Minister claimed:

…we have restored balance to these laws…

Last week Peter Hendy, Chief Executive of ACCI, in the Australian Financial Review, stated that,

Australia can look forward to minimum wages in future that are more balanced.

The Prime Minister should explain to Australian working families how a reduction in the Minimum Wage of nearly $5,000 is ‘more balanced’.

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651

Attachment 1

ACCI’s RECORD ON THE MINIMUM WAGE

Had ACCI had its way, the minimum wage would currently be $95 a week or $4,940 a year lower in nominal terms.

YEAR ACCI SUBMISSION INCREASE AWARDED BY AIRC

ACCI VS AIRC VARIANCE

MIN

WEEKLY WAGE

1997 $0 increase pw $10 pw $10 pw $359.40

1998 $0 increase pw $14 pw $14 pw $373.40

1999 $0 increase pw $12 pw $12 pw $385.40

2000 $0 increase pw $15 pw $15 pw $400.40

2001 $10 increase pw $13 pw $3 pw $413.40

2002 $10 increase pw $18 pw $8 pw $431.40

2003 $0 increase pw $17 pw $17 pw $448.40

2004 $10 increase pw $19 pw $9 pw $467.40

2005 $10 increase pw $17 pw $7 pw

$484.40 ($25188pa)

Cumulative difference between AIRC Decision and the ACCI position $ 95 a week or $4,940 a year

Attachment 2

1997 Base Methodology

1997 Actual Min Wage (2005 Dollars) $443.72 =>(1997 Actual Min Wage / 1997 CPI Index)*2005 CPI Index 2005 Actual Min Wage $484.40 =>2005 Actual Min Wage

Real Increase in Actual Min Wage 9.17% =>Percentage change in above figures

1997 ACCI Min Wage Submission (2005 Dollars) $431.37 =>(1997 ACCI Min Wage / 1997 CPI Index)*2005 CPI Index 2005 Implied ACCI Min Wage $389.40 =>2005 ACCI Min Wage Claim

Real Decrease in the ACCI Min Wage Claim -9.73% =>Percentage change in above figures

Attachment 3

1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 20

AIRC Increase $10.00 $14.00 $12.00 $15.00 $13.00 $

Actual Minimum Wage $359.40 $373.40 $385.40 $400.40 $413.40 $4

ACCI Min Wage Submission $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $10.00 $

Percentage Increase Proposed by ACCI 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 2.50% 2

Forecast Inflation (Financial Year) 1

1.00% 2.50% 2.00% 5.75% 2.00% 2

ACCI Claim Less than Inflation? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Ye

1. Source: Forecast Financial Year Inflation from Treasury Budget Papers